Polymorphism in promoter region of growth hormone receptor is associated with potential production capacity of insulin-like growth factor-1 in pre-pubertal Holstein heifers

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Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is one of the important factors for growth, milk production and reproductive functions and mainly released from the liver in response to growth hormone (GH) via GH receptor (GHR) in cattle. Recently, some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the bovine GHR gene. Some GHR-SNPs were shown to be related to plasma IGF-1 concentration in cattle. Hence, the capacity to IGF-1 production in the liver might be affected by GHR-SNP and associated with performance in the future. This study examined whether GHR-SNP is associated with IGF-1 production in the liver of pre-pubertal heifers. In 71 Holstein calves, blood samples for genomic DNA extraction were obtained immediately after birth. To genotype the GHR-SNPs in the promoter region, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products were digested with restriction enzyme NsiI (cutting sites: AA, AG and GG). All heifers at 4 months of age were intramuscularly injected with 0.4 mg oestradiol benzoate. Blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein just before (0 h) and 24 h after injection. The number of AA, AG and GG at the NsiI site was 0, 17 and 54 respectively. In AG and GG, plasma GH concentrations were higher pre-injection than 24 h post-injection (p < 0.01). Moreover, plasma GH concentrations in AG post-injection were higher than in GG (p < 0.05). In contrast, the GG genotype exhibited higher plasma IGF-1 concentrations in pre-injection than post-injection (p < 0.01), although oestradiol did not change IGF-1 concentration in the AG genotype. We conclude that the GG polymorphism in the promoter region of GHR is associated with a higher potential capacity of IGF-1 production in the liver of cattle.

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